Based on a short story by Anton Chekhov, this drama centers around a desire for revenge and the tragedy of a star-crossed love. After a general ruins some men under him in punishment for a rebellion, a friend of the broken men vows revenge. The friend, a naval officer, takes a job as a valet in the general's son's house. While he plots his revenge, the son has an affair with a woman whom the valet begins to love. She is discarded after becoming pregnant, and the valet has his own troubles; he has contracted tuberculosis. Sick and unable to follow through on his plans for vengeance, he leaves for France with the pregnant woman hoping to declare his love and seek a cure for his illness.